Taliban 'fully prepared' for next round of talks: spokesman
The second round of the peace negotiations between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban are set to begin on January 5 in Doha, Qatar.
The Taliban’s spokesman Mohammad Naeem told TOLOnews that the group was fully prepared for the second round of talks.
“We will return to what was agreed, we do not have any problem in this matter,” said Naeem.
Meanwhile, the delegation representing the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in the talks with the Taliban has also said that the republic’s team has conducted necessary consultations and will return to the talks at the scheduled time.
“The negotiations will begin on the specific date, we hope to have good talks so that peace can prevail,” said Mohammad Natiqi, a member of the peace negotiating team representing the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in the talks with the Taliban.
The first round of talks between the two sides started on September 12 and went until December 11.
On December 12, Negotiators in Doha reported that both sides had exchanged their lists about the agenda of the peace negotiations and that the next phase of the talks will begin on January 5.
Experts warn of delaying the talks: “If these talks are delayed, only the enemies of peace will benefit from it,” said Faiz Mohammad Zaland, a university lecturer.
National consensus imminent: “There is still a lack of understanding from the outcome of the peace between the politicians and the Taliban, every politician has their own narrative about the outcome of peace process,” said Fawzia Koofi, a member of the peace negotiating team representing the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in the talks with the Taliban.
“The Afghans need to address the lack of interest by India and the absence of Iran in the peace process, their concerns must be addressed,” said Habiburrahman Hekmatyar, a member of Hizb-e-Islami party.
David H. Petraeus, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency said recently that there is a need to support the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) to help prevent terror activities in Afghanistan.
Petraeus said that the US still has security interests in Afghanistan and that Al Qaeda shouldn’t be allowed to make sanctuaries in the country again and then launch attacks similar to 9/11.
Petraeus said that supporting the ANDSF was key to ensure protection f the gains in Afghanistan.